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How To Clean Yellowing Soles: 13 Easy To Follow Guide



Looking for ways on how to clean yellowing soles? Soles turn yellow when they are not properly taken care of while cleaning or storing. Having a white pair of shoes in your closet needs extra care when it comes to maintenance. 

Yellowing soles is one thing everyone has to deal with at some point though it never happens with colored shoes unless they have white in them. Cleaning shoes can turn out great when done with the right cleaning materials.

A Step-By-Step Guide: How To Clean Yellowing Soles 

A Step-By-Step Guide: How To Clean Yellowing Soles 

Cleaning yellowing soles does not have to be a difficult task. Here is how to get them white again. 

1. Angelus easy cleaning kit

This cleaning kit is among the cleaning agents one can use in restoring the color of the shoes from yellowing. Pour the solution into a clean container and then dip a brush inside. Use it to scrub the shoes to give them a good cleaning experience and then wipe off thereafter with microfiber clothing. 

2. Mink oil

To use this product, only apply the thinnest layer possible to protect it from stains. You can spray it directly onto the shoe. Use a clean towel or rag and pat it down. 

3. Sole Bright

Sole Bright cleaning agents help in removing oxidation. If the soles turn color, just apply it to the affected area only using a brush. Wrap the shoes and then air dry in the sun for up to six hours. Remove the wrapping and then use warm water with a toothbrush in removing the excess Sole bright left. Repeat this process several times for all stains.

4. Spray Cleaner

There are several spray cleaners one can use; you are not limited to specific brands. For example, some good spray cleaners that are good to use include the 409 cleaners. You can however use any all-purpose spray of your choice. You will need to apply the spray directly on the shoe, and then use a toothbrush to rub and gently scrub the stained area.

Ensure you wet the toothbrush before using it. Use paper towels to remove the dirt; do this once in a while as you continue rubbing until everything looks white.

An easier method with the spray cleaners is to use a washing machine in place of a toothbrush. Spray the shoe and wait for 15 minutes to allow it to work.  Place the shoes in the washing machine bag before placing them in the washing machine.

Adjust the machine settings and let them wash in cold or warm water, too much heat damages the shoes and can make them shrink as well. Dry them in the dryer.

Cleaning with Bleach

4. Cleaning with Bleach

You will need two tablespoons of bleach for every pair of shoes that needs to get cleaned. Take two tablespoons of warm water and add it to the bleach. Mix the two ingredients well to form a uniform paste. 

Using an old toothbrush dip it in the solution and then apply it to the affected areas. Scrub it gently with the brush or with a piece of clothing. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat the same process until all the stains have faded or until you are satisfied with the results.

Dry out the shoes in sunlight.

5. Salt and Water

Take a cup of hot water and fill it in a clean container. Place two tablespoons of salt and add it to the water and stir until it dissolves. Dip a toothbrush inside and then scrub off the yellow stains with the solution.

Use gentle pressure when doing this to avoid damaging your shoes. Air dry for 15-20 minutes. Continue scrubbing and when it’s all good, place in the sun to completely dry before storing them.

6. Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is the most effective home ingredient used in cleaning almost everything. Other than just cooking, using it as a cleaning agent can help remove yellow stains. 

Take two tablespoons of baking soda and add 2-3 tablespoons (drop by drop) of detergent and mix the two ingredients. Let it form a light paste, add toothpaste into the mixture, and continue mixing.

Apply the mixture using a brush to the shoes and leave it for a few minutes. To ensure the mixture dries faster on the shoes, expose it to direct sunlight for about an hour or more. Clean it off by rinsing it with warm water.

Apply shoe whitener

7. Using Toothpaste Only

Instead of using toothpaste to whiten your teeth maybe it is time you give it a try on the shoes too. Place toothpaste on the toothbrush and then apply it to the yellow parts. Sprinkle some warm water on it and then rub to make it clean. Repeat the same process until it looks free from any staining.

8. Adding Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that has many uses including cleaning purposes. This household chemical however needs to be used with caution when cleaning to avoid oxidation. A combination of baking soda with hydrogen peroxide works better. Add 20ml of the peroxide and mix with detergent. 

Take a small amount of toothpaste and it to the combination until it forms a paste. Use a brush to apply it to the area on the stained area and then cover it up with some plastic. Doing this prevents oxidation. Give it time before washing off the paste. After 30 minutes, wash off everything and then use a scrubber.

9. Vinegar

Saturate a piece of clothing; rag or towel with white vinegar. Wipe the yellow surfaces with the rag before placing the shoes in the washing machine. Add the laundry detergent with Borax and then set the machine to a gentle warm washing cycle. Remove ad dry in the sunlight until it gets dry.

10. Use Magic Eraser

A magic eraser can remove any markings or stains from any white shoes. It works like magic in ensuring even stubborn stains come out within a short period. All you need to do is add a little water to the cube and then scrub the shoes with it.

11. Micellar Water

This skincare product can help rejuvenate the shoes just as it does with the skin. The cleansing compounds in it make it suitable to give a try. Use a clean towel and dab the micellar water on it, apply the water on the parts while rubbing it to make it clean.

12. Wrap with Toilet Paper

Cleaning white shoes can be tricky and sometimes, even though cleaned, the shoes can still be yellowish after drying. The best way to avoid this happening is by ensuring you cover them with a roll of toilet paper to keep them from having yellow marks. Take a roll of toilet paper, grab a few sheets from it and soak with water. Do not soak it deeper in the water as all the tissue might dissolve in the water. 

Take the soaked toilet paper and use it to cover the sneakers. Cover all the sides including the sole, the bottom, and also the inner parts. You should be able to do this carefully without having to leave any visible or small gaps not well covered. 

Allow the shoes to dry for more hours; about 12 hours or more depending on the sunlight. The minimum you can let the shoe air is at least 12 hours. When done, peel it off and you will be left with a clean-looking pair of shoes with no stains. 

13. Apply shoe whitener

This is one of the easiest methods on how to clean yellowing on shoes. Shoe whiteners are locally available in most stores and you can find one without too much hustle. One of the best options to go for is the Kiwi whitener.

Clean the shoes before applying the whitener. It will ensure it works effectively. What you have to do is dab the sponge in it and then apply it to the affected areas.  Do this until all the parts look good.



The common ways how to clean yellowing soles are by use of toothpaste, vinegar, or salt. After cleaning yellowing shoes, exposing them to sunlight can help dry or worsen the situation. Oxidation is a major cause of shoes turning yellow.

The more you let the shoes stay longer in the sun after cleaning, the more there are chemical reactions that cause this yellowing. It is best if, after every cleaning with any of these methods above, you wrap it up with toilet paper and allow it to dry.


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